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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  February 24, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EST

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fiscal side. i see most of these reactions as the things that will help to buy time but cannot get addressed from the fundamental issues of how to create a better business environment and how to provide the curriculum for people that will get them as skills to get jobs, how to create more efficient safety net. that is the next part of the discussion. what is the policy priority that will shift the dynamic rather than buy time? it worked many years across the region. -- you worked many years across the region. >> this goes back to my predicting what might happen and i do not think we have good signs. the ingredients i talked about our present in many countries if not most. the issue is, i was talking
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about the degree to which this is present and that is where you find differences. the extent of corruption, and what type. when you see, there is corruption in china. the corruption is not the kind that was in tunisia. this correction was -- corruption was at the top and concentrated and visible. the one in china is widespread and broad. create a ngs ar different chemistry. the nature of this extent of the corruption, the extent of the youth unemployment and the university graduate is different from country to country.
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this makes for differential impact and this is what you see on the ground. countries are not different -- acting different in the same way as to the event. what is expected is different. no doubt the ingredients are there and it is likely things will happen in different countries. to try to predict, i did not expect libya to happen the way it happened. it was difficult. the ingredients were there. there is no doubt. i thought libya was much further down the road on this issue. the government was trying to do all kinds of things, spending, buying of people and so on but it did not work. >> does oil, a lot of oil, and
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this is why we were surprised. we were surprised that it exploded in tunisian given the economic performance. we were surprised it exported in libya because we thought that oil wealth would provide some insulation. libya's oil wells are not as extensive per person as it is in the gulf and saudia arabia. does the bsa just some of the gulf countries have saudia arabia at risk? this is a pertinent question in terms of the global environment. >> i am not able to answer that question but let me say, it is
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not sensitive of economics. it is not -- this whole thing is about dignity. it is about people, it might be rich, you might be getting tons of money, and subsidized housing. if your dignity is not respected, something is wrong. the sense of frustration and sense of humiliation and it is not because you are not getting, because the other guy is getting what they do not deserve. that is how has to be built into the system. and so the reading of it, the economic factors are contributors and the psychology of people and respect for
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people and the prospect, they have a hope in the future? the question i have been asking myself is the following. suppose that to a nation or egypt were able to grow at 8% out of china over the last 10 years and suppose this would have allowed the young people to get jobs and to see hope in the future. what if the political regimes remain the same and the corruption? by giving hope to people, maybe the sense of dignity and frustration would not be as acute and maybe this would not have happened. try to understand better what are the contributions. the economic factor is there. if the economy was better, maybe
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this would not have happened. given the economy, given the performance, you get the other factors that become prominent. >> you are stressing dignity. this is taking away from economics. i get uncomfortable. >the -- is there a sense that in some of the countries of the middle east cannot there is more dignity -- in the middle east, there is more dignity and in some countries there is less? somehow there is less dignity than areathere is in morocco? i am outside my comfort zone
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but i am curious. we will come back. maybe we should ask. the think there is a difference -- do you think there is a difference, a different sense of dignity? this anyone have of you? -- does anyone have a view? >> the monarchy has more -- although it is a monarchy. then some republics in the middle east. we are dealing with harsh police states and authoritarianism is mentioned as examples, especially in tunisia. the lack of political rights and
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horrendous record in terms of human rights has [inaudible] >> there is a sense there is a big difference. this is my last question. let me ask you if they see factors that, and we have and other countries less vulnerable. and the factors we have mentioned, we have not discussed. >> i do not think there are factors we have not mentioned. one thing we have not yet said which is worth saying is that, no matter where you are on the
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scheme of comparison on the different sources of vulnerability, it is an interesting discussion. wherever you happen to be, what are the things you need to do to make yourself less vulnerable? the key issue is how often do these themes crop up? my corte away is the should be a bit of a wake-up call for every wone. you have to act on trying to provide a better business environment so you can accelerate growth. it is an interesting question. whether -- why has this region lagrone slower than most developing countries for so long? the reason is because of a
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variation -- despite the variation, most have not got the business environment that creates productivity and the skill set is not adapted to the kinds of jobs they need and that is the agenda in the way we need to be moving. >> i do not think we should leave it. this is outside my comfort zone and yours. international dimension is not there. the view of the after september 11, 2001 and all the western and iraq war and palestine war, all these things, we have not talked about them. we're not qualified.
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we should keep in mind this is part of the dignity issue. what frustration and humiliation -- the frustration and humiliation issue. do not me move and we have a lot of time because i want to turn it over to the audience. let me ask, what implications do you see for the global economy out of this? what implications is the imf concerned about with regard to oil, food prices, trade, and listing the channels through which these have been prevented. financial stability, migration, how do you see it? >> all those are channels.
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some are more important and others are different. the big issue in everybody's mind right now is what does this mean for the price of oil. if you look at it, until things started in libya, the impact on the price of oil is relatively modest. i think people did not see that. even now, the impact of what is happening is modest. in the short run, there are models used to capacity that can be brought particularly from saudi arabia. if there was a spike, the world economy can sustain that. the global prices are a reflection of the economy. this is concern about short-term supply and security issues.
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if it is not sustained, the world economy can do with that without a big impact. the other issue which had been on people's minds, when egypt came on stream and there was a question about whether this would disrupt trade through the suez canal. you do not see that through the markets. i think as it is hard for us to predict what will happen in individual countries, it is hard to predict the consequences -- what the consequences are for the economy, that impact on the world economy has been relatively contained. mustafa, you have any collaboration's? -- elaborations. italians have been up in arms about migrants coming over from
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the hundreds or thousands from tunisia. anything else you want to tell us about the implications? >> if you go back to the 60's and 70's and early 70's, one of the methods was migration. this is the way they growth and labor force was absorbed in the demand for creating jobs what's -- was much smaller. --know it is the mid-70's the migration channel has been close to a large extent. even though it has continued in many different forms. we have been arguing for the last many years and some of our
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friends with and others, it is an important one for europe and north africa. that is part of the overall corporation agenda. you cannot up and trade and say we are trading and opened but trade for those you do or don't like. movement of people is not on the table. in -- people who do not buy that. it is part of the dignity. the dignity issue, people go and queue for visa. it is humiliating. i worked for the world bank and i had to queue for a visa. this is humiliating for any
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person. people take -- they go through boats and all kinds of ways because you block the legal and organized way. it is understandable. the europeans have not been able to face the issue. i think it is part of the story and they have to face the issue and do with migration as an issue at a concern and it has to be dealt with. more important, what -- in the interest of europe, we have looked at the numbers and these are good maps in terms of demographics. europe absorber significant numbers of laborers from africa. it is a positive sum game.
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it is not a negative sum game. this has been a no problem, it is not on the table. it has been put off. it should be on the table. >> let me ask my last question about the world. which is, what lessons from this episode should be drawn by the u.s., the eu, the imf, the world bank, are these governments and institutions in part to blame for the current situation, for buttressing autocratic and corrupt regimes? for so long? >> i draw lessons for myself and
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the imf where work. the lesson is the one we talked about earlier. even though as a cooperative institution, we have to work with 187 countries and each organizes itself to a rally. i do not think that the imf, and i will strain and make a comment about the world right. they should not be in the business of operating a single view on how the world should organize itself politically. we do need to be doing -- [no audio] for economic reforms to be sustainable, they have to be seen, to be inclusive, and to offer everyone an opportunity to participate.
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to talk about not just average numbers on growth rate, tunisian hat among the highest per capita growth rate. to also began to talk about how that growth is being shared and to talk about governance issues in ways you begin to point out if people do not have access to property rights or dispute resolution or finance regardless of their connections, those are important sources of vulnerability. i come back to it from the route of the imf which is macroeconomics, sustainability, and growth. without these things, you cannot sustain this. >> we have been part of missions as it happens with
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[unintelligible] to libya and tunisia, to egypt, helping these governments manage the situation. what do you think? >> i will [unintelligible] >> come on. i think the ins -- institutions are trapped. they cannot speak and if they do
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that they are in trouble. i have been here listening to that. positions of beck's, wyck, and see -- x, y, and z. in the areas where they can, the world bank has developed the view end of the government's does not play, we cannot do anything. in tunisia, there was no way you could have a survey on corruption and get any data. it was not allowed. if you talk about corruption, how do you know, who issues
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[unintelligible] and these are just rumors. international solutions -- they are stuck. they are stuck in that position trying to do something about this and they could not. i do not -- i would never hold them responsible. they are not responsible. it is a matter of what can they do not to be seen as like they're not aware and they are not building up into their business? they have some margins to operate. you can present your case and her talk about this without being seen as too much in sensitive or unaware.
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sometimes they talk like things are not there. that is where they go wrong. they're not responsible for what is happening. and they are seen as [unintelligible] >> they have to do their job for their political masters. they have to show more awareness. then they have shown in the past. all right. any questions or comments from the audience? if you make comments, please keep them brief and recognize yourself and wait for the microphone. >> thank you. i am battalion and i do not considered to nation a foreign country. there is a bridge between europe and africa.
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that is why i am asking you something. we tend to concede their part of the past. the revolution is part of the uprising. i have the feeling that the situation you have described about the young people in teenager is part of the sizes of all the young people in europe and in tunisia. when you have a 25% graduates between 25 and 35, this is shocking. between europe and to nation. i do not think the answer to why in tunisia is part of the uprising in the arab world. this part of the uprising in the so-called developed world. i am a baby boomer as are you.
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we were sure to be better than our parents. this generation is sure to be worse than our generation. this is a common point between the italian, french, and tunisian. it is not part of the tribe. it is different. >> thank you. threel twake two or comments and come back. the gentleman back there. ahead and the gentleman at the back. >> thank you. i was here in december and in january and you know what i said. there was going to be an uprising in not africa and the
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political class will be slaughtered. people ask how did you know? let me say this. your comfort zone is in what you have been talking about. i am the one who was involved in decolonization in africa. i agree with you, human dignity. the perception of unfairness is what fuelled this. we studied -- the african political culture for the women and young to leave it. >> thank you. >> i have a question. both of you identify the political system as a key factor and you define issues of dignity
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and justice. in all these transitions, there is always an issue of how much to allow those who were in power and in tunisia, there seems to be [unintelligible] to what they should be allowed to play any role. could you give some insight into the review of how there will be organized and how this process is likely to evolve? >> good. mustafa, mahsoud, do you want to take the questions? >> on the crisis, it is true. the question is, why do you have an uprising which leads to the
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collapse of the regime in tunisia and you do not have it in belgium or italy? that is the question. there is no doubt that there is this problem with youth and the aspirations and we have a problem here that you have an uprising which led to collapse of a strong political regime. that is what i tried to expand which is different than what is in europe. in terms of the players, all the political players, in tunisia, it is subject to debate. i can i give you an answer to that. my sense is that the broad consensus is there. there has been a decision that has to go to court and is of the old party, the major governing
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party. there is a broad consensus this is -- and i have moved to make. this structure would not be allowed in the future. this does not mean that the people are going to be completely pushed out, and we see them trying to create a new organization and new parties and that is likely to take place. this is pulling itself out and presumably, some of this will be integrated. subject to some of the illegal things in some people are implicated in corruption and violence, they have to be subject to legal processes. people who are regular members
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and to have a clean slate -- and who have a clean slate, they will continue to be part of the system. >> nothing to add. >> we will broaden the question. we are in live television in a couple of places. you should bear in mind, depending -- on how rude you want to be. please introduce yourself. >> i am pleased to work with you at the world bank. my question is the fact you have not said anything about the army. in many ways in some of the societies, the army is one of the few institutions that is
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functioning. we're having a dramatic example of two countries where the army plays a key role in the collapse of the regime. we do not fully -- i do not fully understand how. we are seeing in libya what is happening when that mitigating factor is not there. i wonder if you can speculate on especially in the case of tunisia, what is going to happen if this and -- the uneven results are that the army is compensated or rewarded for its role. and contributes to less. that is something that has been troubling me. that says to me that because of what was said about dignity
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which i completely agree, we should learn as operational -- as institutions to operate outside our countrcomfort zone. it is comfortable but blinding in the sense that we missed a lot -- i am happy to hear what you say and the economy is being rehabilitated but it is late. if you think of the lack of operating outside our comfort zone has done in africa, i am thinking about sub-saharan africa. as a field for the next explosions. maybe technology is not there is much but the other two factors that was mentioned, corruption and unemployment of youth is there as well. the question is, you have not talked in the world about sub-
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saharan africa which we too often forget. that is another place where something is likely to happen. now that the tunisians have done it and the egyptians have done it, you have in a sense, the spark is there for other countries. you do not have to have it generated from within. it can be generated from outside. i wonder what this will mean in terms of what is happening in places like yemen, or even jordan. i would like to hear your views. >> you had a question. please introduce yourself. >> thank you. i was delighted to hear the exchange especially in my
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recollection of the experience of negotiation. i would like to say that the fundamentals are fine and we should not worry. there would say there are [unintelligible] and it is healthy. it is a good opportunity to hear that. i listened carefully to the arguments of my former professor and i was delighted in the spirit of the revolution to add things. do not have much to add. i wanted to iterate i emphasize the dignity that was said. we have to remember that the spark started with tunisia, the himself on fire
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because you a slap in the face. -- he was slapped in the face. now that you are saying it, i am still speaking. that fear is important to say again, because there is on fear that -- no fear that ist is not doable. i think they would have doubted. people would have thought that these people will live and die and in this aspect, there was one question i think was not asked. how did we allow this to happen for all these years? economy and the supply and demand side, it was the demand
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side that was missing. it is manna culpa -- mea culpa. i thought the generation is not one you could count on but in terms of better and more courageous, i am. would be almost unthinkable to think this would be the same. it will not be the same. >> thank you. >> i am edith wilson. i wish you well, you and your colleagues have an important job. i want to pose the question. [unintelligible] on economic issues.
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i would like to hear more about from the central bank or your work on these demographic issues. i have been watching as these young people, five years ago [inaudible] one of the demographic issues that are in front of the governments. second, we need to cut off the internet. it was a former economic suicide. i do not know what you think about that sort of action. finland which has decided that access to the internet is in the public good and made it free across the country, should a country like tunisia which is
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trying to do something different and stimulate its economy, should they do what finland has done? >> very nice question, i have to say. do you want to go first? >> they are difficult questions. i will not talk about the army. [applause] [laughter] it is a good question but i do not have much to say about it. in terms of, samir asked a very tough question. how did we allow this to happen? we are responsible.
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that is not for today. for another day. the demographics question, tunisia is one of the countries in terms of demographics ahead of the curve in terms of transition. it is a country where the demographic transition has a chance to most and we are at the stage where population growth has -- it is less than 1%. what is important, the growth of the labor force is slowing down. is going to slow down in the next 10 years, 20 years. we breathing space. the labor market will weaken.
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that gives us room and at the same time, a gives -- it gives the democratic process a better chance because, if you have the young population which is educated, there will be the active one in the political process, that gives you some confidence that the democratic process will be possibly stronger and more robust than otherwise. if you have the population we're it is under. if the meeting was 27 or so, or 17, it will be a different story. the movement of the distribution in terms is good for democracy. that is my guess. internet access, as i said, the
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delayed internet action -- they delayed internet action as long as they could and exploded. one of the things that was done allowed access that is relatively low cost. they allowed access at very low costs of people were able to access the internet. there were applying something similar but not quite. it is not available anywhere -- everywhere. they were controlled. the other things that were controlled. i thought it is one of the major ingredients that made this possible in terms of speed of organization, the speed of action. people were able to connect and so on. it did not work.
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the tunisian regime or it egyptian, they tried to interrupt the internet and so on. you know the story. they failed. >> should we enshrine the access to facebook as a fundamental human right? >> in addition, the other thing i would doubt on that point is -- add is i am more comfortable with getting rid of the obstacles that what people have access then to have some grand project. to have some state managed free access for everyone. in some ways, given the capacity to my getting out of the way and letting it happen which is sort of what is happening in many countries is a more practical way of getting
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more people connected. one of the points of demographics which is to nasir is ahead of the curve, that is the point. there are countries that are behind them. i do worry about the fact that going forward, the escape valve, the pressure valve which was immigration not only to europe, but if you look at the last 10 years, the big boom in 10 years is within the region. into the gcc countries. you have remittances moving around in the region. going forward, one of the issues is to see whether you have the same rate of growth of immigration.
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two oil exporters and other countries. even if the numbers stay high, you do not have the incremental pressure release that was happening over the last decade. we need to look at the migration issue there as well. i think it is a terrific topic for a different discussion which we should, i am sure you would want to organize. which is not only whether instant -- international institutions should go beyond their comfort zone, but if so, how you build a political consensus and legitimacy? legitimacy of institutions and what they do is as important as their technical competence and building that framework of political legitimacy, for them to take a view of these things in a way that everyone except is fair and objective and balanced, is not a trivial task.
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that is what i think what we're guest: they cannot speak about the army, and i can speak about the army, but i do not know anything about it. i will say that i suspect there is a real issue there, a real study to be made of the army for some reason becoming a major agent of change. what is it? what is the combination that explains that? is it the fact that somehow they stayed a little bit aside from the corruption? that they maintained a political profession malady? was it -- what is it about the armed forces in these countries, at least in the case of egypt
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and tunisia, looked like they are going to be a very major agent of change? we do not know for sure, but it looks that way. i think this is a question, in very good question for my colleagues who are not economists and deal with much more sophisticated issues than we do. which one?
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>> there is very little you can do. about the internet access -- it is not the government-sponsored scene. it does not work like that in northern europe. you pay for that of the access is there.
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the all society is dependent on information. i don't live in that country but i follow quite closely. it is interesting that in rural areas, it is not the government or even the private sector who is bringing that. it is cooperatives. that is in remote areas. it is a cooperative function. they put the fiber cable in the ground. they know they need it. it is not that the state provides that. thank you. >> we will take one more question. and then we will have closing remarks. >> do you have a microphone? go ahead. >> a i am from reuters.
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can you give us more information as to what type of financing and how much you will need from the word -- world bank and other institutions? how much time do you think markets and creditors will give you to make good on the tunisian debt. ? how much time will the population give you to get things right? >> you'll have to combine the answer and the closing remarks the only point i really want to make. >> it is very important as we focus on the short term which is what legitimately we have been doing is not to lose sight of
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the fact that addressing the kind of obstacles that this transition will help to address, actually open up a whole set of possibilities for the medium term. that could be much more positive. there is more uncertainty now, certainly, but that uncertainty includes many good outcomes as well as a continuation of the past. we should recognize the short term, but also keep our eyes from being focused on what could come after that which is generally positive, thank you. >> let me address the question. in terms of financing that is needed, i will not give you any numbers today. it is something we are working on. this will come in due course. there is no one number.
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there are lots of different areas to cover. we will come to that very soon, actually. that creditors are giving me any more time to pay the debt. there is no time and that we are going to pay our debts and have no problem doing it, they have no time to give us. we pay on time and that's it. in a problem. -- no problem. no issue of time. in terms of population, yes, that is a different issue. expectations are high and we have to deliver on some of the goods. some of them will be short term and some of them will be long term. that is the whole question, how do you do that?
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we deal with the short term and we build for the long term. that brings me to comment which is important. while we are dealing with the short-term and the risks, we have to look long term. we see a whole world of new opportunities opening. you have countries where young people have such a huge potential. you want this potential to matter in life. these people have shown how much energy and innovation they can bring to the table. this is really knew. new. this was suppressed it will be put to work. by putting this capability of the young population of young
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women and young man, that is where the future will be promising. while we are dealing with all of these issues, but also look at the seeds that are being planted for the future. this will allow this potential to grow and develop and so on. that is really the big promise. that is why i am there. it is not to deal with the short-term issues. it is how can we have this young population takeover and fill that promise that is out there. that is our mission. we see ourselves as trying to help this transition so that they can. they have so much potential. some of my colleagues are 40 and full of energy and ideas. they know the world.
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they want to do things. i know people who are 25 years and 30 years old and it has been amazing. it is a humbling experience in terms -- but almost receive every day offers of help from young people, men and women, what can we do? they are ready to come back. the come from canada, singapore, australia, everywhere they are ready to do and contribute. that is what makes it worthwhile. >> thank you very much. in organizing this session, i tried very hard to separate the economics and focus on the economics. it is sad to say i have failed completely in that endeavor today. there, too, lies a lesson. if i have learned something from this exchange today, it is that what we are confronting in the
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middle east and north africa is actually not the economic transition, but a political transition. out of that political transition comes great economic promise. i think our panel has done a masterful job of navigating these difficult waters. we would like to thank them. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> you can see the administration's response to the unrest in the middle east online at c-span.org. our home page includes links to the briefings yesterday at the state department and the white house and president obama comments. later today, the palestine center looks at how the political unrest in the middle east is affecting relations among the arab states and relations between those states and the u.s. that is here on c-span at 1:00 p.m. eastern. in a few moments, your calls and headlines live on "washington
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journal." the former arkansas governor mike huckabee will be at the national press club to talk about his new book. that is live at noon eastern. live coverage of the palestine center event it we mentioned a moment ago. at 4: 30 p.m. eastern, will join nasa tv for the launch of the space shuttle discovery which is the last launch for the space shuttle. in about 45 minutes, we'll talk with two matters about their cities. our guests are anthony fobbs, the mayor of charlotte, n.c., .nd mick hornet we will talk with the affordable housing center to discuss foreclosures and housing market. we will focus on how states are dealing with prison costs and ex-convict rehabilitation with mike thompson from the council of state governments

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